Roach Bows Out Of Testa Challenge For Democratic Party Leadership

Mario Testa
Two more years as Democratic party chief for Mario Testa

The battle of the barkeepers will not happen. Black Rock District Leader Danny Roach says he will not challenge Mario Testa for party leadership, setting up two more years for the North End restaurant owner when the 90-member Democratic Town Committee meets to pick a leader Thursday 5:30 p.m. at Testo’s Restaurant.

You gotta hand it to Mario, even after all endorsed candidates for school board and City Council were smoked in primaries last September, the town chairman did not bleed support from party regulars. Roach’s slate won by three to one in last Tuesday’s town committee district primaries but the owner of Matty’s Corner in Black Rock needed turnover in a couple of the primary districts to wage a serious challenge to Testa. The votes were not there. Mario knows how to schmooze his peeps.

Roach, a city police commissioner, also lacked the backing of Mayor Bill Finch who committed his support to Mario when he realized Testa easily had the 46 votes necessary for two more years.

Testa had served as town chair during the Joe Ganim mayoral years. He stepped aside in 2003 in the aftermath of the Ganim federal corruption probe, but reemerged as chairman in 2008 defeating the Finch-backed candidate for party leadership. Testa has never had a cuddly relationship with Finch, but the two have also not warred during Finch’s more than six years as mayor.

This is a gubernatorial cycle year. Testa will now focus on state legislative races and the contest for governor. Dan Malloy will need a mighty win in Bridgeport and other cities to secure another four-year term.

Finch is up for reelection next year.



  1. *** Mr. Roach apparently feels he may have too much on his plate already and the grass is not always greener on the other side, especially when it comes to dealing with the Dem. party and its 90 T/C members. Also, Mario probably has more than enough committed T/C member votes to win hands down, no? ***

  2. Danny can count and so can Mario. My guess is Finch talked Roach into challenging Mario, Roach thought he could get the votes and if he lacked any Finch would go get them. Then Finch didn’t have the guts to go up against Mario and sold Roach out. In the meantime, Mario was not only counting but securing his votes. If Finch really wanted Roach in, he and Wood would have done their solar panel thing and threatened everyone into submission.

  3. I would have liked to see some change in the Chair’s spot. If what Baffled thinks is what actually happened, then Danny has probably been slapped around for the last time.

    That said, we could do much worse than Mario at this point. I can live with this.

  4. To any/all who post here–including those who may go by pseudonyms and are current members of the DTC:
    How will you decide which Democratic candidate to endorse for State Senate for the 22nd District?

    What if the DTC leader supports re-election of incumbent Anthony Musto?

    As a real or hypothetical DTC member, what would you do?

    Would you go along with DTC leadership and support Musto even if you are against Musto’s record of blocking a CT State Senate vote on Grogins and Hennessy’s sensible bill (HB 5725) to prohibit B’port City employees from running for or serving on our City Council?

    Don’t you think our fellow Bridgeport residents Rep. Auden Grogins and Rep. Jack Hennessy know what’s good for the progress of Bridgeport … more so than Trumbull resident Anthony Musto? I do.

    And don’t you find it inconsistent while Musto’s own hometown bars such conflicts of interest for its elected committee and board members, when it comes to our city, State Senator Musto thinks a lesser standard is best practice? (As many of you already know: Bridgeport’s charter bars this too, but the powers-that-be here, with the support of Senator Musto, have found a state loophole that HB 5724 would close.)

    Why wouldn’t our own city’s DTC support this bill and support Democrats from Bridgeport and Democratic candidates who do?

  5. Roach is now stuck with the broads in the 130th, and his old DTC friends are pissed off. With Mario now in control again of the DTC, Finch and Grogins may not fare too well.
    Maybe Musto’s feeling safe for another two years.


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